Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre out of commission for the foreseeable future, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch this Monday, January 4 through Thursday, January 7, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
The Seth Concert Series: Alex Brightman
On Monday at 3 p.m. ET, apparently, hosting a daily online talk show and a Sirius XM Satellite Radio series isn't enough for the multitalented Seth Rudetsky. Well-known for his skills as a pianist, music director and interviewer, he's hosted a series of intimate live concerts with Broadway stars for the past decade. This year he brings the show online. Last night's headliner was Alex Brightman and you can watch a recording today. A Broadway vet who's earned Tony nominations for his theatrical reinventions of iconic movie characters from School of Rock and Beetlejuice, Brightman boasts a killer voice and a fierce funny bone, making him a favorite on stage and on TikTok. Expect songs from his career and lots of viral moments. Tickets are $25.
The Metropolitan Opera: Adriana Lecouvreur
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Adriana Lecouvreur, Cilea's romantic tragedy about a very dramatic love triangle between an actress, a princess and a count. Anna Netrebko stars as the ill-fated title diva in Sir David McVicar's 2019 staging. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, L'Elisir d'Amore, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Jim Caruso's Pajama Cast Party
On Monday at 8 p.m. ET, cabaret maven Jim Caruso welcomes renowned singers and up-and-comers at Pajama Cast Party, a live-streamed version of his popular weekly Cast Party gatherings that have taken place at Birdland for years. Tonight's lineup includes theatre and TV star Ilene Graff, Broadway vet Zachary Noah Piser and Nashville singer Ben Hale. Watch for free on YouTube though tips via the Venmo app are appreciated.
The Metropolitan Opera: La Donna del Lago
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents La Donna del Lago, Rossini's retelling of Sir Walter Scott's epic poem The Lady of the Lake. Joyce DiDonato is at the center of this 2015 mounting of the romantic opera, costarring Daniela Barcellona, Juan Diego Flórez, John Osborn and Oren Gradus. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Adriana Lecouvreur, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Game Night
On Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley continue the popular game nights they hosted over the holidays with surprise celebrity guests. Tune in to see who pops by and plays on Stars in the House! Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
The Metropolitan Opera: L'Elisir d'Amore
On Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET, ever since the shutdown began, the Metropolitan Opera has been sharing productions from its Live in HD series nightly at 7:30 p.m. ET. But it also presents weekly student streams that debut on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. ET. These productions have been specially selected for families, and Zoom education sessions leading up to the screening teach school-age kids about opera. This week's offering is L'Elisir d'Amore, Donizetti's charming rom-com about a spirited landowner, a lovesick peasant and a purported love potion that may lead to romance. Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher helmed this 2018 mounting that stars Pretty Yende, Matthew Polenzani, Davide Luciano and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival
Since its founding in 2005, The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival has been a mecca for avant-garde artists from around the globe, showcasing performances by hundreds of trailblazers. This year, the event goes online and all performances are free. The fest kicks off this Wednesday with:
The Metropolitan Opera: Les Pêcheurs de Perles
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Bizet's Les Pêcheurs de Perles about an innocent priestess wooed by two friends. Penny Woolcock's lauded 2016 production marked the first time the work had been performed at the Met in a century. Diana Damrau, Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecien star. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, La Donna del Lago, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
POSTPONED Stars in the House: Donna McKechnie
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome A Chorus Line Tony winner Donna McKechnie to Stars in the House. The Broadway legend will be talking about American Dance Machine for the 21st Century, a troupe that teaches vintage Broadway choreography to the next generation. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Question 27, Question 28
On Thursday at 5 p.m. ET, as part of its virtual family culture festival, Los Angeles' Japanese American National Museum presents Question 27, Question 28, Chay Yew's docudrama about the unconscionable internment of Japanese Americans in the U.S. during World War II. The play is based on interviews with people who lived through that dark time, and this abridged version has been edited and streamlined for young audiences. Watch for free on the museum's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival
Since its founding in 2005, The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival has been a mecca for avant-garde artists from around the globe, showcasing performances by hundreds of trailblazers. This year, the event goes online and all performances are free. This Thursday, catch:
The Metropolitan Opera: I Puritani
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Bellini's I Puritani, featuring Anna Netrebko as Elvira, an innocent maiden with an iconic mad scene. Eric Cutler, Franco Vassallo and John Relyea costar in this 2007 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Les Pêcheurs de Perles, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
The Reading Series: Some Girl(s)
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, The Reading Series presents a live performance of Some Girl(s), a slippery play by Neil LaBute about a groom who visits all of his former girlfriends right before his wedding. Broadway vet Nicholas Belton stars as the not-so-nice guy, and Mean Girls Tony nominee Kate Rockwell, Six's Samantha Pauly, Rema Webb and Koko Marshall are his pissed-off exes. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Stars in the House: The Walton Reunion
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome cast members from The Waltons to Stars in the House, including Tony nominee Richard Thomas and Broadway vet Michael Learned. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
The Exponential Festival: Theater in Quarantine
On Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, every January since 2016, The Exponential Festival has showcased cutting-edge stage works mostly on Brooklyn stages. For its sixth annual edition, the event goes virtual with performances by some of the most exciting theatre-makers in the digital space. The fest kicks off tonight with Theater in Quarantine, a collaboration between downtown multihyphenate Joshua William Gelb and Hadestown associate choreographer Katie Rose McLaughlin, who have been streaming live multimedia pieces from his East Village closet since the pandemic began. Expect innovative acts of movement, music and text. Watch for free on The Exponential Festival's YouTube channel though donations are encouraged.
The Mint Theater: Days to Come
Off Broadway's esteemed Mint Theater Company, which has been unearthing forgotten plays since 1992, presents a recording of Days to Come by legendary dramatist Lillian Hellman. Although it only ran briefly on Broadway, this rarely seen family drama is set against the backdrop of labor strife in a small Ohio town. Directed by J.R. Sullivan, The Mint's 2018 production stars Mary Bacon, Janie Brookshire, Larry Bull, Chris Henry Coffey, Dan Daily, Ted Deasy, Roderick Hill, Betsy Hogg, Kim Martin-Cotton, Geoffrey Allen Murphy and Evan Zes. Fill out this GoogleForm in order to receive the password to watch the show for free until Sunday, February 21 on The Mint's website. Donations are encouraged.
Fake Friends: Circle Jerk
Fake Friends presents an encore stream of Circle Jerk, a critically acclaimed satire about gay white supremacists. Penned and performed by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley, who wrote the book for the viral Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical, this is an unsettling examination of right-wing trolling in the queer community. Tickets start at $5 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, January 17.
Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol with a Twist
If you haven't yet watched this tuneful, modern-day take on Dickens' old Christmas chestnut, you have until the end of this week! This holiday musical comes from John Caird and Paul Gordon, the team behind Broadway's Jane Eyre, and incorporates popular characters and plot lines from multiple Dickens' novels. Betsy Wolfe (Waitress) is the title character, a ruthless real estate mogul, who heads to her hometown for the holidays to foreclose on a hotel for the homeless run by her childhood sweetheart, Philip "Pip" Nickleby (Clifton Duncan). But soon three spirits arrive to scare her sweet. Broadway favorites Lauren Patten (Jagged Little Pill), Patrick Page (Hadestown), Carolee Carmello (Parade) and Danny Burstein (Moulin Rouge!) costar. Tickets start at $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Alex Brightman, who's doing a concert with Seth Rudetsky on Monday.